Singer-songwriter is a broad term that is thrown around with little regard for what it truly takes to captivate an audience with a song and a voice. The true test of weather a song really works, is to strip it back to its essence and see if it takes you to the intended place.
Alison May’s debut album Earnest Keep is a strong collection of mellow, emotionally charged songs, showcasing her arresting vocals and richly hued indie folk sensibility. May draws us into her intimate world with little more then the melancholy, late night fingerpicking feel of Nick Drake and holds our attention till the last note with her commanding delivery. There is a sweeping, expansive quality to the 12 songs that carefully hints to the listener that a master storyteller is in bloom.
May hails from a small town in Texas where, at age twelve, she turned her feelings of alienation and angst to the drums. This was not the drumming of a punk rock nature, as she was able to express herself eloquently and tastefully with her kit, eventually landing her a scholarship to Berklee College of Music where she enrolled as a drum performance major. This is where she began practicing the craft of songwriting, quietly at first, eventually gaining the confidence to merge her dynamic sense of rhythm and melody into a heavenly blend of folk rock.
Alison employs this artistry on Earnest Keep, which she played every instrument on and co produced for Colorado based record label Misery Loves Company. With it’s stripped down approach, the album clearly lays out Alison’s multi-faceted talent without over indulging in overdubs or fancy studio wizardry. It is not far off from what you can expect from her live show, which has been known to silence audiences to murmurs and gasps.
Earnest keep is a detailed account of her musical coming of age and clearly reflects her influences that range from Sixto Rodriguez to Duncan Browne. This moving debut album is a testament to Alison’s circle of experiences, full of strong highs and lows through her family and love lives, expressed with stark emotion, self reflection and insight into our humanness – following closely in the footsteps of all great songwriters.